|ArtWeek Berkshires 2022 Welcomes Submissions|
|12:10PM / Tuesday, April 26, 2022|
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire County's five Cultural Districts are partnering again to expand ArtWeek Berkshires 2022 that will take place from Sept 15 to Sept 25.
The coalition recently posted its first call for artists. The non-juried event is free to all Berkshire County individuals, organizations, and businesses interested in showcasing creative work. Submissions from actors, cartoonists, crafters, dancers, designers, filmmakers, illustrators, mimes, multimedia artists, musicians, performance artists, poets, puppeteers, theater artists, visual artists, writers are welcome.
Representatives from the five Cultural District began meeting in February to review feedback from last year's ArtWeek, which took place while COVID-19 restrictions were still in place.
The five cultural districts are the Downtown Great Barrington Cultural District, Lenox Cultural District, North Adams Cultural District, Upstreet Cultural District in Pittsfield, and Williamstown Cultural District.
"We're all looking forward to a full, vibrant season of arts and culture activity in the Berkshires this year," said Laura Brennan of Berkshire Regional Planning Commission, who is co-chairing the ArtWeek Berkshires 2022 Steering Committee along with Cecilia Hirsch of the Northern Berkshires Cultural Council. "The experience of seeing creative work in person is what we've all been missing."
Funds provided by the five cultural districts will bring greater exposure to this year's event. Promotions will include billboards within Berkshire County; print and digital ads in Berkshire Magazine; digital ads on the Berkshire Eagle's website; and a web-based map to help people find events.
The committee is also exploring new channels for promotion of ArtWeek, which will depend on increased sponsor support in 2022.
"One of the strategies we're exploring to promote ArtWeek Berkshires 2022 are collaborations with hotels and restaurants to create ArtWeek packages," said Hirsch. "We know how much time and effort it takes for artists to organize shows, so we want to do all we can on the front end to make it worth their while to sign-up."
Arts, Entertainment & Recreation and Accommodation & Food Services are major economic industries in Berkshire County, employing on average 9,124 people per month in 2019 and paying wages of $228 million that same year. COVID changed that, with average monthly workers dropping to 6,373 and wages declining to $174 million in 2020.
ArtWeek Berkshires plans to celebrate a reversal that trend, according to Lindsey Schmid of 1Berkshire.
"ArtWeek 2022 is about supporting the county's economic rebound," said Schmid. "But we also want those who uplift us creatively to see that, with the tools we have at our disposal as economic development and planning agencies, we are here to support them as we emerge from this challenging time."
Any questions cna be directed towards the five cultural districts.